Oregon’s newest scenic bikeway traverses the strikingly scenic high desert canyon of north Central Oregon, known as River Canyon Country.
Simply said, the new Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway is one of the best, rural, accessible road cycling loops available in Oregon. You’ll be stopping for one “awe moment” after another
Start in Maupin, on the banks of the Lower Deschutes River. Cross the historic 1929 bridge, ride through the heart of downtown Maupin and finish your three-mile climb with your first of many Mt. Hood views. Ride across Juniper Flat, a lava flow that came from the High Cascades six to 10 million years ago. See today’s dry-land wheat farming and beef cattle herds as well as the bygone era’s homestead cabins and windmills. Sagebrush and juniper offer you pungent smells while you hear the plentiful population of the Western Meadowlark singing their state song.
Exiting Juniper Flat on the north end, descend into the Tygh Valley. Historically, the Tygh people settled here. The White River flows off of Mt. Hood’s White River glacier on its 50-mile trip through the Tygh Valley to the Deschutes. Tygh Valley Road takes you through shady oak trees, along the White River’s banks with grey squirrels and wild turkeys drinking from its crystal waters.
Turn east and head down the valley toward the Deschutes River through hay fields where mule deer, rabbits and antelope play. White River Falls State Park, at mile 21.5, offers views of some very impressive waterfalls.
Coast down Chicken Spring Canyon and WOW..You have arrived at the majestic Sherar’s Falls on the mighty Deschutes River. Named for Joesph Sherar, a 19th-Century wagon road builder, the falls is a Native American fishing ground, still used today. Look for the wood fishing platforms and the three petroglyphs. Cross the river and turn your bike back south. The remaining nine miles back to Maupin are right along the river. Hear the roar of the rapids, listen to the silence of the flat water, watch an osprey or river otter dive for fish, count numerous blue herons, spy the green springs on the desert hillsides.
Finish the 33.5 miles on the riverbank where you parked your car and continue to let the nature of Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway soak into your soul.
The small vibrant town of Maupin serves as the bikeway’s start and finish, offering ideal pre- and post-ride amenities – a walkable downtown, friendly locals, restaurants, lodging and camping. The ride is best enjoyed in spring and fall and even on some winter days.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
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